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Do you support revising TDSB Policy P042 (Appropriate Dress) so that it aligns with equity and human rights, and so that it incorporates greater opportunity for student voice in dress code development, review, and revision?

For decades, dress codes have been used in an attempt to control students into a certain mold of conformity according to the strict views of an older generation that didn’t understand what it meant to be free to express oneself in modern times and standards. As long as there have been constricting rules on freedom of self expression, there have been groups of individuals to test those boundaries, and to break down those stereotypes. There have been many examples through the decades that pattern this, especially in regards to school guidelines on women’s wear in the past, ie. skirts as opposed to pants; skirts to the ankles; slacks and not jeans; then jeans without holes in them…the list went on and now this list includes skirt lengths above the knee, tucked in shirts vs. untucked, various forms of headwear on girls and boys.

Let students make their own choices in what to wear and how they look, as long as it’s mindful of modesty and not overtly offensive and harmful to another group/or persons. Students will usually make the right decisions. We don’t need to unfairly single out students for wanting to be different, which happens right now for many students, who are publicly shamed for their choices, scarring them emotionally. That’s unacceptable to me. We need to give them back the power to express their true selves and creativity, qualities I think we really want to foster.

Yes, I certainly agree that we need to revisit the TDSB Policy PO42, and bring it into the modern times of society today, inviting our very own students to lend their voices into the process of the  development of a new dress code policy.